Trips made on Cheshire West and Chester Council’s e-scooters trial in Chester city centre have now covered 150,000 miles – more than six times the circumference of the earth.
The Council, in partnership with e-scooter provider Ginger, launched a 12-month trial in December 2021, as part of a Department for Transport (DfT) initiative to encourage greener travel methods. Due to its popularity, it has now been extended to 31 March 2022.
Currently, 130 e-scooters are available, with over 47 dockless parking bays at various key locations around the city centre.
The pay-as-you-go scooters are hired via a mobile app, that has 14,500 registered local users who have taken an average of five rides each. One user has taken a total of 301 rides!
A total of 74,800 journeys have been taken since the start of the trial and 91% of recent journeys are from a different start and end point (as opposed to circular journeys).
The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said, “E-scooters offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to using the car for shorter journeys and will also help tackle air pollution. They are proving very popular.
“Extending the trial will enable more accurate data to be obtained for this alternative method of getting around the city, as much of the previous data was gathered during lockdown restrictions.”
Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency explained, “Ginger work in partnership with a local business, Dandy’s Nationwide Landscape Supplies Ltd, using the latest solar panels and Tesla battery charging facilities to power and recharge the Ginger e-scooter fleet. This means that every scoot across the city of Chester on a Ginger rental e-scooter is now 100 per cent powered by the sun.”
The e-scooters have proved to be most popular with residents at Garden Lane who have made over 5,000 journeys, followed by White Friars with a similar number of journeys and Chester Train Station, 4,500+ journeys.
The scooters will not move unless unlocked by a valid driving licence holder, they will cut out if taken into a location that is not approved for their use and there is a speed limiter.
Ginger manages the e-scooters in Chester and full details, FAQs and location maps for the Chester scheme are available on their website . Users will need to download the Ginger Shared Transport App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The e-scooters cost £2 per 20 minutes of journey time and 50p per 10 minutes of pausing time.
Scooters will continue to charge their user until they are parked properly in a designated e-scooter parking area and the user has ended the ride on the app. This approach has resulted in 99% of e-scooters being parked properly at the end of their journey.
Anyone hiring e-scooters with Ginger needs to be aged 18 or over, with a valid driving licence (full or provisional) or a motorcycle licence. A unique age and licence verification process with facial recognition technology is in place to ensure this. It is a criminal offence to hire the e-scooter for someone else.
To date eight registered users have had their accounts blocked due to non-compliance of the rules and they will not be able to hire a Ginger scooter again.